Tributes to Ramana Maharshi
Bhagavan was a very beautiful person; he shone with a visible light of aura. He had the most delicate hands I have ever seen with which alone he could express himself, one might almost say talk. His features were regular and the wonder of his eyes was famous. His forehead was high and the dome of his head the highest I have ever seen. Bhagavan always radiated tremendous peace, but on those occasions when crowds were attracted to the Ashram such as Jayanthi, Mahapooja, Deepam and such functions, this increased to an extraordinary degree. The numbers seemed to call up some reserve of hidden force, and it was a great experience to sit with him at such times. His eyes took on a far-away look and he sat absolutely still as if unconscious of his surroundings, except for an occasional smile of recognition as some old devotee prostrated.
– A. W. Chadwick, A Sadhu’s Reminiscences of Ramana Maharshi.
The third of February 1936, early morning, saw my horse-cart rolling on the uneven two-and-a-half-mile road from Tiruvannamalai railway station to Ramanashram. I was led to a small dining room, at the door of which I was asked to remove my shoes. As I was trying to unlace them, my eyes fell on a pleasant looking middle-aged man inside the room, wearing nothing but a kaupin, with eyes as cool as moonbeams, sitting on the floor before a leaf-plate nearly emptied, and beckoning me with the gentlest of nods and the sweetest smile imaginable. I was alone in the Hall with him. Joy and peace suffused my being – such a delightful feeling of purity and well-being at the mere proximity of a man, I never had before. My mind was already in deep contemplation of him – him not as flesh, although that was exquisitely formed and featured, but as an unsubstantial principle which could make itself so profoundly felt despite the handicap of a heavy material vehicle.
– S.S. Cohen, Memoirs and Notes
I looked around. Squatting on the floor or sitting in the Buddha posture or lying prostrate face down, a number of Indians prayed-some of them reciting their mantras out loud. Several small monkeys came into the hall and approached Bhagavan. They climbed onto his couch and broke the stillness with their gay chatter. He loved animals and any kind was respected and welcomed by him in the ashram. They were treated as equals of humans and always addressed by their names. Sick animals were brought to Bhagavan and kept by him on his couch or on the floor beside him until they were well. Many animals had died in his arms. When I was there he had a much-loved cow that wandered in and out of the hall, and often lay down beside him and licked his hand. He loved to tell stories about the goodness of animals. It was remarkable that none of the animals ever fought or attacked each other.
– Mercedes de Acosta, Here lies the Heart
Once an Ashram deer was attacked by some animal and the wounds turned from bad to worse. Sri Bhagavan sat near the deer and held its face in his hands, looking at its tearful eyes. Sri Bhagavan sat like that for a couple of hours. Chinnaswami (Ramana Maharshi’s younger brother) asked my uncle who was standing close to look after the deer and relieve Sri Bhagavan. Sri Bhagavan heard this but did not make any response. Sri Bhagavan sat there till the deer breathed its last. That was the compassion that Sri Bhagavan had for that deer. Soon after, Sri Bhagavan went to the hall. There is a Samadhi for the deer in the Ashram.
– From: Dr. D. K. Subrahmanian, A Tribute
A Jnani has No Separate Will of His Own
In the evening Sri Bhagavan recalled a marvelous occurrence. He said, “Some time ago, a paralytic was brought in a conveyance and brought into the Hall in the arms of some persons and placed before me. I was looking at him as usual. After about half an hour, the man with some effort got up by himself, prostrated, and rising came forward and handed to me a notebook. I found it to be his horoscope wherein it was stated that he would have darshan of a Mahatma by whose Grace he would be cured miraculously. The man after expressing his fervent gratitude walked by himself to his conveyance outside the Hall. All people present were struck with wonder which I also shared because I had not consciously done anything for him.” Now Sri Bhagavan again repeated that a Jnani could not have any sankalpa (will) of his own.
– Subbaramayya, My Reminiscences of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi
My first darshan of Bhagavan Sri Ramana was in January, 1921 at Skandashrama, which is on the eastern slope of Arunachala and looks like the very heart of the majestic hill. It is a beautiful quiet spot with a few coconuts and other trees and a perennial crystal-clear spring. Bhagavan was there as the very core of such natural beauty. I saw in him something quite arresting which clearly distinguished him from all others I had seen. He seemed to live apart from the physical frame, quite detached from it. His look and smile had remarkable spiritual charm. When he spoke, the words seemed to come out of an abyss. One could see immaculate purity and non-attachment in him and his movements. I sensed something very refined, lofty and sacred about him. In his vicinity the mind’s distractions were overpowered by an austere and potent calmness and the unique bliss of peace was directly experienced. This I would call Ramana lahari, ‘the blissful atmosphere of Ramana.’ In this ecstasy of grace one loses one’s sense of separate individuality and there remains something grand and all-pervading, all-devouring. This indeed is the spirit of Arunachala, which swallows up the whole universe by its gracious effulgence.
- Swami Viswanatha
From: Aspiring India